Journalist Nick Ware has given his thoughts on the return of Dominic Calvert-Lewin to the Everton side following comments made by Rafael Benitez.
The 24-year-old forward is someone who has really shone in the past few years, with back-to-back seasons in which he managed to break double digits in terms of goals.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of their clash with Chelsea in the Premier League, Everton boss Benitez noted that he was on the mend and on the verge of being back in the line-up, saying: “I met Dominic and he was quite positive, training well, so he is getting really close now. The only thing now is to make sure we don’t take too much risk because he’s had two re-injuries. Hopefully, he will be a crucial player for us in the second part of the league.”
Speaking about those comments on Wednesday in a video for Football Insider, Ware felt that based on the Spaniard’s comments, Calvert-Lewin was close to a return, but believed that their game against Chelsea in midweek might come too soon:
“I think Benitez was naturally being cautious again today. I think he said sort of, ‘he looks good, but they’re going to wait until he’s 100% fit’, which sort of sounds like he’s ruled him out of tomorrow’s game already. Maybe at a push for the weekend, he might feature on the bench, but sounds like Benitez is going to err on the side of caution with Calvert-Lewin.”
TIF Thoughts on Nick Ware’s comments about Dominic Calvert-Lewin at Everton…
Is Dominic Calvert-Lewin one of your favourite players in the current Everton squad?
Yes, he's a class player
No, I have other favourites
This does sound like a smart approach for Everton when it comes to managing his comeback from injury. The Toffees haven’t been in the best of form right now, ranking near the bottom when it comes to the Premier League’s form table, while scoring has been a problem with just five goals since the start of November, so the club need to look more long-term when it comes to Calvert-Lewin.
As the club’s main source of goals for the past two seasons, his importance is clear to see and they are going to need him available for the rest of the season if they are to stand any chance of making a success of it having got off to something of a rocky start.
And given that they are set to face Chelsea, who have the second-best defence in the league, it wouldn’t be smart of them to bring him back in a game that he is probably going to struggle to score in, as it is perhaps better to save him for a game where he’ll have a better chance. That way, he can get both his fitness and his confidence back at the same time.